Greek mythology linked the red anemone, sometimes called the windflower, to the death of Adonis. This handsome young man was loved by both Persephone, queen of the underworld, and Aphrodite, goddess of love. Adonis enjoyed hunting, and one day when he was out hunting alone, he wounded a fierce boar, which stabbed him with its tusks. Aphrodite heard the cries of her lover and arrived to see Adonis bleeding to death. Red anemones sprang from the earth where the drops of Adonis’s blood fell. In another version of the story, the anemones were white before the death of Adonis, whose blood turned them red.
Christians later adopted the symbolism of the anemone. For them its red represented the blood shed by Jesus Christ on the cross. Anemones sometimes appear in paintings of the Crucifixion.
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